The Pembroke, Old Portsmouth

CHEERS Regulars to The Pembroke Ed Cook, left and Tommy Baker. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (113886-3)
CHEERS Regulars to The Pembroke Ed Cook, left and Tommy Baker. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (113886-3)
A27 Chichester Bypass. Picture: Google Maps

Portsmouth drink-driver attempted to swallow his key after being caught on A27

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Navy memorabilia donated by sailors over the years covers the walls of Old Portsmouth local The Pembroke.

Before landlord John Brett, 64, took charge 16 years ago, former owner and ex-Royal Navy Master-at-Arms Peter Robertson, who died in September, built up the collection of maritime badges and posters.

John keeps up the pub’s maritime tradition with his wife Patricia, 65, his son, bar manager Steve Brett, 46, and daughter Lisa Otton, 43.

John believes the success of his family-run pub, which dates back to 1711, comes down to his regulars.

He said: ‘I love the people who come through the doors here, they keep me going.

‘You get dustbin men, solicitors, people from the navy.

‘When all these walks of life come together the atmosphere is brilliant.

‘It’s a proper old-fashioned drinking pub here.

‘We don’t treat it like a restaurant. It’s got character and soul. There aren’t many pubs around any more that have that.’

Steve said: ‘My dad is a big personality here, everyone loves him and that makes for a great working environment.

‘I love the social life here. It’s all about bringing happiness into people’s lives.

‘Working in a pub is also definitely a way of life, you become part of other people’s lives and they become part of yours.

Steve, a former market trader, added: ‘I love working with my family, they become your best friends really.

‘You get your good and bad days where things are stressful, but we help to pull each other through.’

Every Tuesday and Thursday the pub hosts male and female darts team matches.

On Thursday and Friday each week customers are given fresh beef and pork rolls to snack on at the bar.

The pub also features in this year’s Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) Good Beer Guide.

The guide describes the pub as a single bar with an L-shaped servery, and how it is mentioned in the Captain Marryat novels under its original name of the Little Blue Line.

It adds: ‘The pub is a rare haven for the discerning drinker, which explains its varied clientele, and it still serves probably the best pint of London Pride in Portsmouth.’

Punter Nigel Teague, from Kimberley Road, Southsea, has been a regular at the pub for the last 10 years.

Nigel, 61, who works in the legal profession, said: ‘The beer is great and the pub itself is such a unique place because it’s family-run.

‘The location is also brilliant.

‘You can go outside, walk to the end of the street and watch huge ships pass by.

‘It’s a small pub, but that’s perfect because everyone knows each other and the owners are a great bunch, I’ve got to know them really well.’